Dear Driving for Dollars,
I have a limited amount of money to spend on a new car, and I want something small and fuel efficient. My brother thinks leasing a new car would be better than buying an older car because of the repair costs, and I don’t drive very many miles. But I’m wondering: Can you lease a cheap car?
It’s more common for a manufacturer to offer car leases on more expensive cars as a cheaper way to get more people to drive them. Still, some inexpensive cars have good lease deals.
For example, Nissan is currently offering a $179 monthly lease payment for 39 months (with a $2,499 down payment) on the 2010 Nissan Cube — a small boxy car that gets 31 highway mpg and starts at $13,990 — to qualified lessees. Do some research on which inexpensive, fuel-efficient cars might suit your needs, and visit the manufacturers’ websites to see what car lease deals are currently being offered.
You might also look at lease-trading sites, such as LeaseTrader.com or SwapALease.com, where you can sometimes find good deals from individuals looking to escape their car leases before the end of their leasing contracts.
Ask the adviser